By: Kindall D.
Leah Patterson cannot remember a time in her life when she wasn’t depresssed up until about 3 years ago.
Looking at Leah from the outside and watching her chase any dream that she felt inspired to pursue, you would not know that she was secretly fighting a battle within.
“I struggled with debilitating depression and anxiety. My façade has always been of a bright, driven, glass half-full, force to be reckoned with. However, for a long time that was just half of my story. There was also a Leah that was dejected, worn-down, overwhelmed, and afraid that the horrible thoughts that had haunted her since childhood about not ever measuring up to be enough or deserving of any happiness, might be true.”
Despite the high levels of depression and anxiety Leah had to endure on the inside throughout her entire life, she was always still very ambitious, making her a high-functioning person with depression. Depression, without the high-functioning adjective, usually has a common theme where one basically checks out on life, feeling a sense of numbness. Leah was the opposite.
“I’ve always been the girl that marched to her own beat and saw a vision that not many could see. This resulted in me living a life on the fringe, always pushing to pursue my dreams at all costs.”
Starting out her professional career as a chemical engineer, Leah didn’t find fulfillment in the type of jobs she performed as one in practice. She loved it in theory but didn’t feel it ignited her inner light.
Leah eventually made the transition into other ventures that she felt sparked that flame to her inner light. She wanted to be more creative with her talents. “I’ve never NOT been driven to do my own thing and have my own expression out in the world.
Wanting to release restrictions that often come with a professional career, Leah then ventured out and basically flowed whichever way the wind carried her.
“If I had to say that there was any one thing that inspired me to be an entrepreneur and business owner, it’s that drive to add my own thing to the world. Oftentimes, the types of businesses I’ve been drawn to create have been because I felt that my unique perspective on something was the thing that could help move the needle for someone else.”
Leah began to study intense herbal medicines and holistic healing in year 2000. She also learned how to naturally care for her skin which then inspired her to become a licensed esthetician so that she could return the favor to others that battled oily, acne prone skin like her. She then started her non-profit, Soulistic Sanctuary, in 2003 to educate lower income communities on herbal medicine and holistic lifestyle principles, began to dance Salsa professionally in 2003 and lastly, she started her first makeup line, Etniq Cosmetics in 2007 for others with sensitive skin like her.
Leah had her hands in a little of everything and still managed to keep up the façade that everything was fine, although she knew she was internally depressed. In 2009, she attempted suicide.
“My suicide attempt was the point at which I promised that I would do my best to not attempt suicide again. That was a turning point in the sense that I knew for a fact that there would be someone I was disappointing if I gave in to the desire to die.”
Leah knew then it was time to get a hold of her depression before it overpowered her. After years of reading self help books, meditation, therapy and having the help of friends and family, she slowly started to make sense of her depression. Rather than focus on the intangible though, she knew she needed something more concrete to solidify her life. She knew she had all these different pieces from her earlier business ventures but didn’t quite understand why or what to do with them.
“I’ve had all the pieces for a really long time. I did not realize how well they went together until about 2 years ago when I did some intense soul searching asking the Universe why I had all these pieces. It’s then that I realized that these are the pieces that have saved my life.”
Leah had finally figured it out. “I learned how to free myself from the grips of old programming, and the way there was surprising. It wasn’t just all about changing my thought patterns and my perspectives. It was so much more. It wasn’t just about loving myself more in an elusive, abstract way. Tangible, physical practices and techniques helped me make the switches I needed and wanted to make. When I began doing specific things that made me feel better on one level, it amazed me to see how it carried over into the rest of my life. I started to see the connections and realize just how intertwined it all was.”
“From here I began really thriving in life, not just faking it.”
Feeling renewed, she went on to morph her already established sensitive skin cosmetic line, Etniq Cosmetics, into what is now known as Move Makeup, where she is the CEO. She created Move Makeup out of her own need for a sweat proof, all-natural makeup that would withstand while she danced Salsa professionally.
Since gaining a better way to manage her depression, and knowing first hand how devasting it can be to live with depression and anxiety, she decided to start Goddess Lifestyle Coaching in 2016. Her lifestyle coaching provides other women with support and mentorship through her classes, one on one coaching program as a holistic beauty and wellness mentor and depression breakthrough coaching.
“My ultimate aim is to show women how to live vibrant, fulfilled lives, embracing and enhancing their inner beauty, thriving on purpose and letting their sparkle glow from the inside out!”
Looking back now on her career as an entrepreneur, Leah can clearly see the evidence of how her anxiety kept her playing small and how her depression kept her starting and stopping.
Leah now has taken control over her life, giving her a sense of true empowerment and liberation. Her words of encouragement for other entrepreneurs is to simply continue; despite the baby steps you may have to take or even if you feel you should just give up.
“The journey of an entrepreneur is truly a journey of learning yourself and growing into the you you aspire to be. The business part of it and all of that “success” is honestly secondary. It becomes inevitable as you continue growing, challenging yourself, peeling back layers as to your whys and moving forward. I encourage you to embrace the journey part and look to the rest as a game you are learning to win. As long as you keep playing, the game is rigged in your favor for you to ultimately prevail. “
If you are battling depression of any sort and would like to experience Leah’s Goddess Lifestyle Coaching, visit http://www.leahpatterson.com for more details.
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